2019 Toyota RAV4 Design 2.5 Petrol Hybrid 7 Day Test Drive Review Day 5-7 | Country roads, practicality and overall verdict
Having passed the Motorway test with flying colours, over the course of the last few days that I had left to review the RAV4 Hybrid for Farmer & Carlisle Toyota, I wanted to see how it coped with country lanes, explore the practicality aspects of the vehicle in a little more depth and see how it fared in sport mode.
Firstly, another day out with the kids was in order, taking the scenic route into town.
New Toyota RAV4 countryside and rural driving
My test 2019 Toyota RAV4 Design 2.5 Petrol Hybrid CVT auto is the 2WD model but there is also a 4WD variant.
I decided to take the boys on a day trip via a bumpy and extremely pot-holed lane that I often frequent; if the two wheel drive RAV4 could handle tricky roads like this, this would give me an indication of how capable the 4WD version would off road.
Before setting out, I took a good look inside the vehicle once again and filmed the interior to demonstrate just how well the space works. Check out my findings in the accompanying Vlog here; loads of room for kids, phones, keys, drinks and more!
The RAV4 has the most amazing suspension; as a driver, you feel engaged with the road but at the same time, the ride is comfortable no matter what surfaces you are driving on.
The cabin is airy and light and as previously mentioned in my other blogs, visibility is excellent – the higher ride height is a bonus when you are navigating your way down winding, narrow lanes, especially where hedges and trees make it difficult for you to see oncoming traffic.
I also put together a short countryside ‘montage’ (see Day 5 & 6 Vlog) that was filmed by fixing an iPad onto a mount attached to the window – you will see how steady the footage remains on this short part of the journey.
I couldn’t resist adding a snap of the kids messing about in the back of the car during this part of my test - you know see how comfortable they were, thoroughly enjoying the ride!
2019 RAV4 Hybrid’s CVT transmission
As well as the distinct lack of unsettling body roll, the RAV4 Hybrid’s CVT transmission is another area that Toyota have refined for this fifth-generation model.
At this stage in my 7 day review I still hadn’t tested sport mode, but in ‘normal’ mode, I still felt connected to the vehicle when I was driving it, unlike many vehicles with automatic gearboxes - the CVT transmission is smooth and seamless.
RAV4 Hybrid LED headlights and multi-storey car parking
The 2019 RAV4 Hybrid comes with LED headlights as standard. They look good and do a great job. Never again will you be bumbling around a multi-storey car park if you choose a fifth generation RAV4 as your next car – my Vlog and pictures demonstrate just how effective they are in this environment.
Not only this, but the parking camera and all-round sensors are fantastic. Although I must (rather smugly) admit that reverse parking is a skill I rather pride myself on, it was so simple in this car – literally a case of easy reverse-in, easy out.
In 'reply' to a couple of comments about my use of the Toyota Safety Sense system, I DO look at the screen and I DO listen to the beeps. I just feel that any safety system in any vehicle should be used as an aid, not as a replacement for learned, important driving skills. Used properly, parking sensors, cameras and warnings help the driver immensely - they are not there to replace common sense.
RAV4 short journey in sport mode fuel economy
The day before the New RAV4 Hybrid was due to be returned, we took it for a spin locally, to test it out around the village in sport mode. The car did feel sprightlier and we returned 46.7mpg on this last trip, which wasn’t too much less than the 47.3mpg that we were achieving in normal mode on longer journeys.
RAV4 Hybrid boot space
The acid test came at the end of this lovely, sunny afternoon, when we checked out the boot space or should I say, the boys tested it out by climbing into it.
The RAV4 SUV’s Boot is really very large, with a nice, low load-lip – it is also a superb shape and auto-open tailgate is standard. Despite its angular exterior lines, there is little compromise to be found from the ‘sloping’ roofline that could prevent easy loading of awkward-shaped items.
Speaking of awkwardly shaped items, this includes pets. We have three small dogs, all of whom fit very nicely inside with plenty of room for manoeuvre – this is not always the case with mid-size SUVs. Part of my seven-day road test plan was to take the pets out with us on a day trip. Sadly, without a dog-guard (this is available to purchase as an option), it wasn’t possible, so they just had to make do with their regular walkies this week.
Hence the employment of my sons to demonstrate just how spacious the RAV4’s boot actually is. I reckon we could have fitted the dogs and the kids in the boot all at the same time, to be honest!
On a more serious note, however, it really is a good shape and size – in the absence of any big shopping trips during my 7-day review period, I guess you will have to take our word for it that fitting two quite tall children into it with plenty of room left to spare makes it more than qualified to cope with quite a bit of luggage and any major supermarket spree!
RAV4 Hybrid seating and comfort
The seats in the Design grade features a funky geometric pattern, cleverly mimicking the exterior angular look that the RAV4 sports, and they are supremely comfortable.
Although I usually opt for leather seats when given the choice, feedback from my two children was very positive – they felt that material was more comfortable than leather and to be honest, I would imagine that they would be incredibly easy to keep clean.
2019 Toyota RAV4 Design 2.5 Petrol Hybrid 7 Day Test Drive Review Day 5-7 | Overall verdict
The RAV4 is a very classy – and different – sports utility vehicle. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time reviewing it and in my opinion, if you are in the market for a premium mid-size SUV then it should be on your ‘most wanted’ wish list.
But it is not a budget motoring option. You could look at less expensive same-sector rivals of course, as this sort of innovative hybrid technology doesn’t come cheap. Hybrid cars cost more to build, so they cost more to buy. However, good news is in store!
New 2019 RAV4 Hybrid SUV fuel economy | Affordable contract hire and leasing prices
If you are wondering if you will make some of the money back in savings that will be made on fuel, it is very likely that you will. Interestingly but rather unsurprisingly, the New RAV4 is set to depreciate more slowly than most of the competition.
This helps with leasing prices - to lease a New RAV4 Hybrid, prices start from just £254 + VAT per month from Farmer & Carlisle.
CO2 emissions and benefits for company car drivers | BIK Benefit in Kind Tax savings
For company car drivers, very low CO2 emissions (my initial scouting about seems to suggest that the RAV4 Hybrid has by far the lowest in this segment) mean that benefit in kind (BIK) tax payments are kept as low as possible.
New RAV4 Hybrid specifications and value for money
In terms of value for money, you do get an awful lot of bang for your buck with the 2019 RAV4 SUV. Even entry grade models have superb levels of standard equipment and the Design – my test car model trim level – looks the part as well as boasting addition features like front park sensors, keyless entry and sat nav.
If you are set on leather seating, it is well worth taking a look at the Excel and Dynamic grades which are also good value to lease from Farmer and Carlisle.
Don’t forget that as well as specification, economy and value for money, there is one thing that should be (and very often isn’t) a key factor to every buyer when considering their next vehicle choice: reliability.
New Toyota RAV4 Hybrid reliability and warranty
Consistently sitting prettily at the top of well-known reliability surveys, Toyota (and Lexus) are well known for not letting their customers down on this front. There is also a manufacturer-confident, five-year 100K mile warranty.
What more could any buyer want?
Not much, to be honest. I can’t think of anything to complain about when it comes to the New RAV4, at any rate.
And that’s a first.
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GREAT DEALS ON THE NEW TOYOTA RAV4 HYBRID SUV FROM FARMER AND CARLISLE LEICESTER & LOUGHBOROUGH
We also have a new RAV4 Hybrid available for test drive – find out more and enquire by clicking here or call us on 0116 285 2851 today!